I know! It's been, like, nearly two weeks since I posted last. And that was just a bunch of pictures. I'm long, looooong overdue for an update here.
Buckle up. This is probably going to be a long(ish) one.
So, Mom was here. She got in on a muggy Thursday afternoon, and the kids & I went to the airport to pick her up. Soren is ever a fan of taking a trip to the airport. He was excited to see Grandma, and the two of them were playing games before we even got to the car. (Eleri had been sleeping when we first arrived and was still a little out of it, so she was smiley but not too sure what was going on.)
I had scheduled myself a haircut appointment for the next afternoon, taking full advantage of the free babysitting available when grandparents are in town. I'd long since made up my mind that I would be chopping my hair quite short again for the summer, and when I voiced this intention to the hairdresser, she responded with a worried-sounding, "Okaaaay..." I said something like, "What, you don't think I can pull off a pixie cut?" Apparently she was afraid I was just being impulsive and that I'd hate the haircut afterward. Hehe. I assured her that I had given it a lot of thought, but it wasn't until I confirmed that I had indeed cut it that short in the past that she relaxed about it.
But holy COW are my gray hairs a lot more visible now. I guess I expected as much, but man. Not quite 30 and I'm fully sporting the salt-and-pepper look. Ah well. I don't care enough to dye it, so salt-and-pepper it shall be!
(Kind of tempting though to see what would happen if I dyed it, like, electric blue without bleaching first. Would the dye kind of add just a slight blue tint to the dark hairs and then be all shockingly blue on the grays? Might be worth an experiment.)
Enough about my hair.
Saturday morning, Mom got to come out to the barn with me. My regular instructor was on vacation, but I got to ride her horse, Vanya, again. So that was neat. I had a good lesson (the substitute instructor did a good job) and Mom got to have a bit of a horse fix. That evening, Tom & I got to go out to dinner by ourselves! Huzzah again for Grandma babysitting. We went to the Dogfish Head Alehouse and split a super delicious burger and "steak bomb" sandwich. And then the Belmont Stakes came on TV, so we sat together on one side of the booth to watch it, probably looking like super sappy dorks, but whatever. ;) There were an almost surprising number of small children in the restaurant when we arrived. I say almost because it was pretty early, and weirdly, brewery-type restaurants are actually quite family friendly. Anyway, the kids had a great time without us, we had a great time without them.
Sunday...boy, I don't remember anything of note about Sunday. There was probably some soccer to watch. I'm sure we did some chores. Might have cooked something tasty. Definitely took further advantage of GrandmaTime to do some lounging on the couch.
Monday we went to Lake Accotink Park with some of our playschool peeps. Eleri was incredibly cute when a big flock of geese and goslings came our way; after they determined we had nothing to feed them and started to retreat, Eleri toddled after them, waving and saying, "Hi guys! Hi guys!" Sofreakingcute. Everyone enjoyed playing in the slightly scuzzy water of the lake, and Soren and my mom amassed quite the collection of lakeside treasures - sticks, leaves, rocks and such.
Tuesday was Soren's last "Top Chef" class. Eleri was NOT feeling like sitting still that day, so it was extra convenient that Mom was there to hang with Soren in his class while the girlo and I took some walks around the rec center.
Wednesday we went over to National Harbor for lunch and to check out the Peeps Store. It was a hot afternoon, so we didn't linger too long, but we did see the creepy giant bearded man sculpture and an absurdly fancy pet accessory store with little doggy dresses and patent leather-looking booties in the window display.
Thursday we met up with A and his mom at one of the local nature centers. Aside from being eaten alive by mosquitoes, we had a good time. A told his mom later, "I really, really like Soren's grandma!" I guess Mom made a good impression. ;)
Friday was our playschool field trip to the National Capital Trolley Museum. It was a good little outing! Soren was bummed we only got to ride the trolley once - technically our admission ticket allowed us unlimited rides, but a very tired and grumpy Eleri screamed through the entire second half of the trip, so we pretty much had to head home after that - but he seemed to enjoy listening to storytime and playing with the model trolleyway and making a little paper trolley to take home. It's a bit of a trek, but I wouldn't mind taking him back there again sometime. Maybe when Eleri's just a tad older and more likely to enjoy herself. Heh.
Friday night there was a pretty decent rainstorm, and Tom & I got to go out for a second dinner sans kids. We went to Bonefish Grill, which was really good. It was quite crowded when we got there, and we were told we'd have a 30-40 minute wait for a table. I looked around at the packed waiting area and asked Tom if he wanted to wait outside. He gave me a well-deserved look of bewilderment and said, "Uh, no, let's sit at the bar." Oh yeah! I'd completely neglected to even register that as an option. Heh. As it turned out, it was a full-service bar, so we got to eat our (super tasty) dinner almost right away after all. (In case you were wondering: wagyu beef dumplings for a starter, grilled rainbow trout with mango salsa for Tom, stuffed tilapia for me.) Another fine evening out. We seriously have to find ourselves a babysitter and go do stuff like that more often.
Saturday was Mom's last day here. Kind of on a whim, we asked Soren if he would like to accompany us to the barn for my riding lesson. He was so adorably excited about coming along. As we were getting into the car, he kept saying, "I'm so happy! I really really wanted to come with you guys. I'm so exciting to go see the ponies with you!" (Yes, he is always "exciting" about stuff. It's too cute to correct.) I had a pretty good ride on Andy, the goofy Thoroughbred I've ridden once before, and after my lesson, N asked Soren if he would like to have a ride on her mare, Freedom. Soren was over the moon excited and spent the whole (bareback, very short) pony ride with a huge smile on his face.
In the afternoon, it was time to take Mom back to the airport. I'm glad she was able to visit, and extra glad that the hot weather mostly took a break while she was here.
Other fun happenings of the past week. Hmm, let's see. Well, the very next day, Sunday, was of course Father's Day. Tom had a ticket to go see the Gold Cup Quarterfinal soccer game between the U.S. and Jamaica, which was being played right here in D.C. So that was cool. We all went and rode the metro a few stops with him, in part because any excuse for a train ride is a good excuse in Soren's book, and also because I was really curious to see if it was possible to ride the metro for free. WMATA makes you swipe your fare card both upon entering and exiting stations, so the amount deducted is determined by how far you travel. I wondered what would happen if we, say, rode the metro 3 stops to the airport, stayed there on the platform, and rode back. This would mean that we'd be exiting from our station of origin, which could potentially result in a free ride. (Not that this information would be useful at all for someone actually trying to use metro for transit purposes, but I'm always on the lookout for free or cheap toddler entertainment.) In the end, though, $1.60 was taken off my card; while that's not exactly free, it is (I think) just about the cost of a one-way ride to the airport, so that's still some pretty cheap entertainment.
Monday I had the playschoolers over here for the last time. We're done after next week, and I've got to say, though this has been a neat and fun thing (low-key homeschooling with some really interesting field trips thrown in there), I'm glad it's drawing to a close. I know it's largely due to my tendency to procrastinate, but coming up with activities to fill 3 hours once a month was strangely stressful. Plus, Eleri is now at the age where I can't just stick her in a playpen or wear her on my back the whole time. She wants to be down on the ground and involved, which is fine, except when the 3 year-olds are, say, coloring with markers. Or doing a craft that involves painting with marbles. Or glue. So while we did have fun with our transportation-themed lesson (tying in to the trolley museum trip), and though we have ultimately had fun all year, I'm glad my playschooling responsibilities are over for now. (No telling yet whether I'll try to find another group with whom to do something similar in a year or so, when it's Eleri's turn. We'll see.)
Tuesday we started a new class at the rec center. It's Zoom Around the Room again! A's in it with us this time, so Soren's pretty happy about that. It's good to have some dedicated weekly indoor run-around-like-a-maniac time, with the hot weather coming.
Wednesday we had mall walk and then ran some errands. Whee! Today we invited A and his mom over to swim in our pool with us. It was our first time getting down there this year, and my fears about the water temperature were fortunately allayed. 'Twas a balmy 83 degrees, just right for 45 minutes of splashing about. Eleri toppled in the water a couple of times, and even though she was wearing her little floaty swimsuit, she was still nonplussed. So she clung to me, not entirely unhappily, and eventually almost fell asleep. Hehe. Soren and A had a grand time floating about and playing with the kickboards and pool noodles. I got Soren a floaty vest thing - there was basically no way for me to monitor two non-swimmers by myself, otherwise - and it worked for him like a charm. We will definitely have to take advantage of our pool many times this summer.
Holy crap, I'm caught up. I can't believe it. Of course, I still have a ton of stuff to say about how cute Eleri is getting with her ever-expanding vocabulary, and there are many more photos I need to post (naturally...when are there not?) but this will have to do for now. Kudos if you made it all the way to the end. I promise I won't let so many days go by without another update.